Student CV Mistakes To Avoid
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Student CV Mistakes To Avoid

Zoe Kramer March 5, 2023

Chances are, if you’re a student, you have limited employment experience. Most students have worked part time and/or done internships, but haven’t embarked fully on a career yet. That can make writing up your CV a pretty significant challenge. You need to show that you’re the right fit for the job, but you haven’t had the chance to prove yourself in the workforce yet. Here are some student CV mistakes to avoid in your job hunt, to give you the best chance of getting your foot in the door.

Photo by Lara Far on Unsplash

See also: Extra-Curriculars That Look Great on Your CV

Keeping It Too Generic

The first mistake you want to avoid is writing a CV that is too generic. It’s tempting to create one document that you can send with any number of different applications, but you’re less likely to be successful than if you tailor it. Instead, create a template to start with and then edit the document with each job you apply for. Look at the job description and make sure you translate each of the requirements onto your CV.

Missing Information

One of the first things that can get your CV put into the “no” pile is if it’s missing key information. You want to make sure you have all your bases covered before you send it off. Check your CV to make sure that it has all of your work experience, all the necessary keywords related to your field, and your contact info.

Spelling and Formatting Mistakes

This is probably the easiest student CV mistake to avoid, but it’s still a pretty common one. Double and triple check your CV for spelling mistakes before you submit it. It can also be helpful to double check your spell check is on and/or have someone else give it a look over. Also, make sure your document is formatted correctly, with no unintended gaps or indents.


While some level of generic language is necessary to write a CV, make sure you stray away from some of the most common clichés or “CV-speak.” Phrases like “good communicator,” “results driven,” “team player” and “hard worker” are so commonly used that they won’t tell the employer very much about you. Instead, focus on how you can demonstrate each of your traits.

The Wrong Length

Another mistake to avoid is sending in a CV that is the wrong length. A CV that is only a quarter of a page long is unlikely to be able to adequately demonstrate your qualifications. Likewise, a CV that is overly lengthy will give the impression of being “padded.” Make sure you check the job posting to see if they have any specifications for how long your CV should be.

See also: When Should Students Start Applying For Internships?

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Zoe Kramer has been writing for GRV Media’s student-centric website Freshered since October 2022 and is now also contributing to HITC. She graduated from Cardiff University in 2022 with a BA in Journalism, Media and English Literature. During her time in university, she worked for her student newspaper as well as completing an internship with a book publisher. She has also written and continues to write book and theatre reviews. She is excited to now be pursuing a career as a journalist and learning something new every day. In particular, she loves writing about student life, books, the Internet, and travel. Originally from the United States, she is enjoying living abroad in the UK.